Greg Parisi

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Leadership Studies


Students at the University of Richmond and many other independent colleges and universities in Virginia are the primary beneficiaries of a remarkable labor of which they are, in most cases, completely unaware. The Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, put quite simply, raises funds from Virginia corporations to be distributed to its fifteen member institutions.

In turn, the needs of the VFIC have created an opportunity for inquiry into corporate giving from the perspective of the individual corporate executive. This paper details both my efforts to fulfill the needs of the VFIC and to gain insight into the leadership issues surrounding business philanthropy. I seek to answer the questions: l) What motivates a leader to have his company participate in corporate giving and what are the desired, perceived, or real effects of this giving on his or her followers? and 2) In what ways can the VFIC present itself and its case as a more attractive recipient of corporate donations in Virginia?

The world of nonprofit fundraising continues to become increasingly competitive. Leadership is an issue that is often overlooked by those who seek to remain at the top by improving the marketing of their organization's fundraising efforts. In examining leadership as it applies to soliciting funds for independent higher education from corporate targets, two important discoveries have been made:

1) There exists both a definable set of factors which a leader must reconcile in order to arrive at a giving decision and an identifiable set of perceived repercussions of giving on a leader's body of followers.

2) A soliciting organization can apply info:rmation about a corporation and its leadership in order to better understand how their case will be seen from the perspective of that corporation and how they can alter or emphasize portions of the case in order to create one that is most likely to succeed. Nonprofit organizations in general would be wise to consider the manner in which a company's leadership affects the success of their solicitation effort. The leadership model described in this paper, whether supported or modified by future research, serves as a basis from which to consider nonprofit fundraising from the perspective of the leadership and philosophy of the target corporation.